Saturday, November 13, 2010

Five days out of seven this shot is typical of my morning routine. "Wanna go for a ride?" In the car she jumps back and forth from front seat to rear, except when Dawn's riding shotgun. When she's in the back seat she jumps up at the back window as if she wants to nip at the miserly cars/trucks who dare to pass us on the road. Yes, it's a bad habit. Yes, if I put her leash on her, she won't jump at the cars. I just don't care if she's agitated by oncoming traffic. At least she doesn't bark annoyingly. If I could only get her to warn me of deer on the road. I prefer driving the truck. There's no back seat-no jumping at cars and trucks. She'll note each oncoming passing vehicle with a head nod. She's an odd duck.

This is the road that leads up and over the ridge to the Amish. Sing with me while we slowly mouth the first chorus of Teddy Bear's Picnic because that's exactly what comes to mind as we wind our way through the woods. " If you go into the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise." We see deer, pheasant, foxes, hawks overhead and pass by a goat farm half way up the steep hill. If I swing left, we'll pass by the barking dog's house and the elk herd. The barking dog chases cars. Mandy perks her ears when I tell her, "Get ready for the barking dog." I think she's actually disappointed when the fat little beagle mix isn't outside. She'll jump to the front seat, poke her head out the right side window and watch intently until barking dog standing in the middle of the road recedes into the distance.

In the center of the picture at left is a red tail that has followed us a number of times as we wind our way uphill. There's a panoramic view of the entire valley and two parallel ridges . The corn fields up top are empty now, just stubble and spilled corn by the side of the road. The combine spilled two large piles in the field behind us. I hustled the wheelbarrow out on the lane between field and our place to shovel up fresh corn before rain and snow turned it into a moldy mess. I felt a little sheepish, almost miserly, scooping up spilled corn until I saw a guy pull over on the state highway with a feed bag doing the same thing as I did previously. The 88 lbs of corn I shoveled and bagged were traded to the Amish for grinding a gallon ziplock of dried sweet corn into corn meal.

Although its cold and misty rainy outside it's hotter n' blazes in this office. The outside temperature hovers around 40 degrees, but it's damp and seems colder. I'm burning box elder which has to be restocked every hour. It leaves absolutely no residual coals which is the heart of the problem. With hardwood, I can go back and toss a few sticks hours later to rekindle a fire. The box elder was free and at least it chases the chill off the place with a typical gray November day.

Mandy and me.

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